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City Club speaker looks at Bend's coming campus

Published On: Oct 17 2013 11:53:12 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Femi Abebefe was on hand Thursday as they City Club of Central Oregon and Build a Better Bend met at St. Charles-Bend to discuss plans for a 4-year campus.

It's hard to gauge how much OSU-Cascades' planned four-year college campus on Bend's Westside will affect the economy, real estate and local business. It bodes the question, is Bend ready for a four-year university?

The possibilities are endless, but there will be challenges.

At a lunch talk sponsored by the City Club of Central Oregon and Building a Better Bend, architect and urban designer David Bagnoli talked about whether Bend's infrastructure can support this kind of project.

“I think it's more than ready for it," he said. "I think there's an incredibly engaged citizenry here that you don't typically see. While most college towns have a pretty active and engaged group of residents, Bend is already there and doesn't have to improve on its level of engagement.”

Although Bagnoli believes Bend is ready, there will be setbacks, though he sees them as opportunities.

"I think there's plenty of opportunity when it comes to housing, arts, commercial, retail, business incubation and shared infrastructure that could happen here as a result of OSU's new campus,” Bagnoli said.

That forward thinking has prepared the city for this task, and according to Bagnoli, a four-year university is long overdue.

“Bend is a college town waiting for a college,” Bagnoli said.

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